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Concerns over salmon fishing ban dismissed

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screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-16-38-10A SENIOR member of the Teifi Trout Association (TTA) has raised concerns over ‘restrictions’ that he fears may be put in place by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) regarding salmon fishing in the River Teifi and throughout Wales.

Secretary of the TTA Gwyn Morris has said that NRW is looking to introduce a ban on salmon fishing and introduce restrictions on fishing methods such as bait fishing.

The TTA currently has around 200 members and owns a n approximate 20 mile stretch of water in the Teifi. The fishing strip has received considerable investment in its time, some of which has been sourced through grant funding.

In the late 1980s, Gwyn said that the TTA had initially purchased a strip (which spanned several miles), in part, by using funds that involved a £50k grant from Ceredigion Council. The area also received National Lottery funding for several disabled platforms which can be found along the river.

Gwyn said: “They [NRW] can’t tell us when this ban is coming in. They’re trying to fetch this legislation in, but they’ve got to go through Welsh Government. We’re opposing it being passed if we can.”

Gwyn also raised concerns about the TTA’s disabled members, most of whom rely on bait fishing, something Gwyn expects to be banned.

He said: “With our members now, most of them are getting older, you’ve got more disabled every year, and that’s what we have to try and hit them with now, they’re depriving the disabled.”

With reference to statistical evidence he had received at a meeting at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Gwyn also argued that there had been a 23% increase in salmon numbers in the Teifi.

Having spoken to Gwyn, the Herald contacted the NRW where we got through to Principal Communications Officer, Martyn Gough. While Martyn acknowledged that numbers of adult salmon may well have increased (he could not confirm this either way), he did point out that NRW was currently more concerned with salmon fry numbers which have been declining across the country.

Martyn said: “We’re still very much at the stage where we are investigating the reason for this decline in the numbers and we will take steps eventually, but what they are we don’t know at the moment.”

Martyn went on to dismiss claims of a potential ban, adding: “It’s a problem that we need to address but it is something that we’re still investigating and because of that, we haven’t made any decisions on restrictions or any sort of ban that may or may not take place; that’s a discussion for once we’ve collated all the evidence.

“As you can image, there’s an awful lot of rumours and gossip around the situation. At the moment, there is nothing of that nature in the pipeline.”

When discussing the cause of decreasing salmon fry numbers, Martyn was quick to dismiss over-fishing as a major cause, and instead pointed to something else. He said: “We think that it may be related to last years wet and warm winter, we don’t think this is a case of overfishing. The evidence, and again we’re still investigating this, but the evidence points to something to do with climate change. “

The only scheme that NRW currently promotes is a voluntary catch and release scheme.

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Ceredigion public transport services arrangements challenging

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WORK is ongoing to provide sustainable and affordable travel opportunities by bus.

A procurement process is currently underway to secure statutory learner transport requirements as well as opportunities for the general public to travel by bus on a number of routes in Ceredigion.

With the current arrangements coming to an end on 31 December 2022, tenders received for local bus routes are being evaluated. There is particular focus on their affordability taking into account the significant increases in tendered prices.

Unfortunately, no tender has been received for operating the 585 service, Aberystwyth-Tregaron-Lampeter. Unless a last minute contract can be negotiated, the non-school journeys on this route will not operate as of January 2023.

Opportunities for the general public to travel on some learner travel services will continue from January 2023 onwards. This is due to the integrated nature of the bus network in Ceredigion.

Councillor Keith Henson, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Transport Services said, “It is a very difficult time for the bus industry with spiralling costs, a lack of qualified Public Service Vehicle (PSV) drivers, uncertainty around future funding arrangements and low passenger numbers. The number of people using buses in Wales has been in decline for a number of years. This has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic which has led to the amount of public funding required to subsidise local bus services rising dramatically on already stretched public finance budgets.

The Council will continue in its efforts to work with key stakeholders including local bus operators, Welsh Government and Transport for Wales to provide sustainable and affordable travel opportunities by bus. However, in the short term at least, it has to be recognised that the outlook is very challenging.”

Further updates will be provided in due course while officers focus their attention on providing the best level of travel opportunities possible.

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Flood warnings issued in parts of Ceredigion

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FLOOD warnings have been issued in Borth, Borth River Leri and the tidal area at Aberystwyth seafront.

The high tide is expected at 8:15pm on Thursday 24 November 2022 at Borth. Wave overtopping at the seafront is expected to occur between 7:15pm and 9:45pm. The properties closest to the sea front are most at risk.

If you are worried or experiencing flooding, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

You can visit Natural Resources Wales website to see the current flood warnings in force, check the river and sea levels or keep an eye on the 5-day flood risk forecast: https://naturalresources.wales/?lang=en

You can also follow Ceredigion County Council, Natural Resources Wales and the Met Office on social media for updates on the weather situation.

Any further details will be updated on this page: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/novemberfloodwarnings

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Winter Fuel Support Scheme open for applications

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ELIGIBLE households are reminded to apply to the Winter Fuel Support Scheme for support towards paying winter fuel bills.

Welsh Government has re-launched the Winter Fuel Support Scheme for 2022 – 2023 as part of a £90m support package to address immediate pressures on living costs.

To date, Ceredigion County Council has assisted over 5,000 households with these payments, and paid out in excess of £1million. So, if you are facing increased fuel bills and think that you may qualify, please submit your application as soon as possible. Eligible households can claim a one-off £200 payment to provide support towards paying their energy bills for their primary residence in Wales.

The scheme is open to households where the applicant or their partner is responsible for paying the energy bills and is in receipt of one of the following benefits (at any time between 1 September 2022 and 31 January 2023):

Income Support
Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
Income Related Employment & Support Allowance
Universal Credit
Working Tax Credits
Child Tax Credits
Pension Credit
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Carers Allowance
Contributory Based/New Style Job Seekers Allowance
Contributory Based/New Style Employment & Support Allowance
Armed Forces Independence Payment
Constant Attendance Allowance
War Pension Mobility Supplement

If the applicant or their partner who is liable for the fuel costs does not receive any of the above qualifying benefits then they may still be eligible for a payment if a qualifying person lives with them. A qualifying person must meet all the following:

occupy the applicant’s or partner’s home as their primary residence, and
is a dependent child or an adult living with the applicant or their partner, and
is in receipt of one of the following benefits (at any time between 1 September 2022 and 31 January 2023):
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Attendance Allowance
Armed Forces Independence Payment
Constant Attendance Allowance
War Pension Mobility Supplement

The payment will be available to all eligible households regardless of whether they pay for their energy on a pre-payment meter, by direct debit or by paying a bill quarterly. The fuel received can be on or off grid.

Councillor Gareth Davies, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Finance and Procurement Services, said: “I would encourage people facing higher fuel bills to check if they are eligible for the Winter Fuel Assistance Scheme to get invaluable help with fuel bills when it is most needed.”

Applications can be made up until 5pm on 28 February 2023 on the Council website: https://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/resident/benefits/winter-fuel-support-scheme/

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